How it all started

Summer of 2012 I decided to take up birdwatching again. It was a hobby from years ago when I lived in California and my skills were a bit rusty, but not the enthusiasm for getting out and looking at the birds.

This time, I wasn't a poor student and I could afford good binoculars, books, iPad apps for identification and classes. Oh, boy. Texas is about the best place for finding birds year round. We are on the flyway for Spring and Fall Migration and there are always birds around.

To share my new hobby I started writing email "Nature Reports" to friends and family. Since they all were positive I was taking the pictures I stole off the internet to illustrate my adventures no matter how many disclaimers I noted, I started thinking about photography.

Photo by Bill Maroldo

Photo by Bill Maroldo

And then some of my friends encouraged me to start a blog and share these adventures and pictures with the whole innerwebs .... so.... here we are. Now that I am retired I am a full time wildlife photographer and blogger.


After a lot of research, I got a Panasonic FZ200 and started taking pictures. Bridge cameras are wonderful for getting started as they are not too expensive and have awesome zoom abilities.  I had a brief flirtation with the Sony RX10 Bridge camera, but decided to get a real DSLR and learn to shoot manually.  I started out using a Bill Maroldo's Sony A700 with his Sony 70-400mm G lens. That is, until it died. But, I did learn to shoot.

Starting in June 2014 my go-to camera was the Sony A77II with the Sony 70-400mm G2 lens for wildlife. I also had a Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 lens and a couple of other lenses for wide angle shots. And for a year or so I was using Bill's Sony f/4 500G with my A77II since he went over to the dark side with Nikon.

And then in December 2016 I followed him and got a Nikon D810 with the NIKKOR 500mm f/4E VR + Nikon 1.4x TC for most of my wildlife photos. Nikon handles low light much better than the Sony rig I was using plus a full frame camera gives you much more real estate.

I added a NIKKOR 300mm f/4 PF with Nikon 1.7x TC recently for BIF shots. It may be completely supplanted by the awesome but hard to find NIKKOR 500 f/5.6 PF. It only weighs 3.2lbs and seems to be as sharp as my heavy 500 f/4.

My lens for wide-angle work is the excellent Tamron SP 15-30 mm f/2.8. Next, I succumbed to the call and got a Nikon D850, one of the best cameras EVAH. And…I have a NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 so expect to see some tiny critters in the near future. The latest purchase (and this is the last!) is the fantastic ultra-wide angle Venus Laowa 12mm f/2.8.

Hard at work - photo by Bill Maroldo

Hard at work - photo by Bill Maroldo

Oh, and this blog done with Squarespace. Signups and mail notification by Mail Chimp. And no, Nikon didn't give me anything to link to their cameras; I just thought you might like to know what I use.